Sugar cane production requires a number of operations to be carried out in the field through number of implements and machines. Therefore, time consuming and required large amount of energy. A combined field cultivator was designed in Kenana agricultural implements factory (KAIF) to carry out at one time multi operations (cultivation, furrow-reforming and Fertilizer placement). This is to increase field productivity, reduce farm power and lower operation time and cost. The combined implement was evaluated in Kenana cultivation fields and compared with three individual implements, rigid tine cultivator, furrow-reformer and fertilizer applicator. The measured parameters were drawbar pull, power requirements, field capacity, fuel consumption and total time in the field. The results showed highly significant differences at 1% level between the different implements for the field capacity, fuel consumption and significant differences at 5% for the drawbar pull. A power requirement in (kW) for the combined cultivator was 77% of those individual implements. Total time per feddan to accomplish the required operations by the combined cultivator was 57% of that required by the individual implements. Fuel consumption was reduced to 57% when combined implement was used compared to that consumed by individual implements. It was concluded that the combined cultivator was effective in increasing field productivity and reducing power and cost of operation.
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Copyright © 2021 Mohamed Hassan Dahab, et al.
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Farm machinery management deals with the optimization of the equipment used for agricultural production. It is concerned with efficient selection, operation, maintenance, and replacement of machinery. Farm machinery selection is a fundamental in achieving the concept of sustainable agriculture, which becomes a global issue in agricultural sector development1 .Proper management and selection of implement contributes greatly in reducing cost and difficulties in field operations, maximizes production and also protects the environment against pollution.
Sugar industry in Sudan, started in the sixties and reached its present size in the eighties. Sugar industry has a significant contribution to the national income and the economy of the country. Sugar cane in Sudan is now grown in the central clay plains and the expansion in this region depends in the suitable soil, availability of irrigation water and machinery. The production of sugar cane involves many operations from planting to harvesting. It is produced either by planting stalks of cane or by ratoon. 2 considered the following operations as common practices in sugar cane field; uprooting,by chisel, disc or shape ploughs, harrowing, with discs or tines to form a suitable seedbed. Then leveling and furrows made by furrowing bodies for planting seed cane. For planting, cane is usually placed in furrows and covered with soil. 3 recommended planting depth of 8 cm in sandy soils and found that depth was not so important in heavy cracking clay soils. To maximize cane yields, the distance between cane rows should be the smallest which allows cultivation with modern equipment4. Where the plant is about three months old, soil should be transferred from the inter-rows to the planting rows so that the plant gets better anchorage and resistance to lodging. This also helps prevent water logging at the base of stalks and improves irrigation efficiency, besides, the practice is necessary for mechanized harvesting operations5.
The concept of combined implement was found to be of great importance to carry out more than one operation at the same time and to conserve energy and time and to save labour cost. Some pioneer studies were carried out to combine tillage implements with planting machines as a minimum tillage combined systems6, 7, 8 found that combining tillage tools in two types of soils resulted in saving about 44-55% of the cost and 50-55% of the time. 9 described a combined chisel-planter as a minimum tillage implement, for reducing erosion. The minimum tillage system was developed by combining through successive practical in the area (a chisel plow, fertilizers applicator and seed drill with double disc furrow openers). It was classified as tillage – planting machine. The interest for minimum tillage or no tillage methods of seeding involve saving time and energy. He also concluded that the chisel –planter used 70% less fuel, and 49% less time per acre than conventional system. 10 stated that the combination of a rotary tiller and pneumatic seeder was found to be suitable for one-pass plow-seeding operation as a minimum tillage system for fuel and time saving. 6 stated that the ridger- planter as one pass operating machine, the conventional mechanical system of planting (separate ridger and planter) was nearly double that of combined ridger-planter and field capacity of the combination was approximately double that of the mechanical system and twelve times the manual, which allows times saving and expansion of the cultivable area.
Carried out an experiment to study the performance of a primary and secondary tillage implements combined into one machine and was evaluated in the field and compared with the individual implements, chisel and ridger for unit draft, power, slippage, fuel consumption and time.11 The results showed that the combined implement reduced the unit draft by 26% compared to the individual implements work together. The power requirements and the total times were reduced by 49% and 47% respectively by the combined implement.
The main objective of the present study was to develop and evaluate a combined machine formed from three implements, rigid tine cultivator, furrow reformer and fertilizer applicator to increase field productively, reduce farm power and lower operational costs and time. Therefore, the specific objectives are: To evaluate the field performance of the combined machine compared to the individual implements. The parameters investigated and measured were field capacity and efficiency, fuel consumption and power requirement.
Materials and Methods
The experiment was carried out at Kenana cane fields (heavy clay soil). The soil is 15% sand, 22% silt, 63% clay (Kenana research department). Kenana Latitude is 13°8'16"N and Long 33°0'31"E.
An experimental plot consalmaisting of four treatments and three replicates was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD). The treatments consisted of four implements
Two Massey Ferguson tractors (MF440) were used for the experimental measurements. The specifications of the tractors are given in table 1.Table 1. Specification of tractors used on experiments (MF 440)
|No. of cylinders||7|
|Max. engine torque||288NM|
The implements used in this study were rigid tine cultivator, furrow reformer, fertilizer applicator and the combined field cultivator which developed as a two row cultivator. The specifications of these implements are shown in table 2. The size of the plots was 100 m×3 m. The plots were separated by 3 m wide buffer strips and there was 6 m gap between 2 plots for the tractor. Other equipment such as Chain- bolts- stop watch- paper sheets- tape meter (50m) - steel rods- steel container (4 gallons) - measuring cylinder (1 lit.) and dynamometer (50_300 KN) were also used.Table 2. Specifications of Implements
|Fertilizer applicator||Ridger||Rigid tyne|
|Type||Tractor mounted||Tractor mounted||Tractor mounted|
|Lifting||By Tractor hydraulic||By Tractor hydraulic||By Tractor hydraulic|
|Components||Mild steel frame, hoppers(4), transmission system.||Two wings v shape frame, cutting edges||Eight shanks, two raw u shape frame.|
The cultivator consists of six rigid tynes, equipped with replaceable chisel points, staggered on a rugged tool bar in twos, for each furrow there were three tynes, two in the front row, and third in the second row, at the center of the two front tynes. The front tynes were to loosen the sides of the furrows and to provide grooves for placement of fertilizers. The center tynes were to loosen the middle of the furrows to provide more loose soil for coverage of fertilizers and reshaping of the ridges and furrows. The fertilizer applicator consists of fertilizer hoper, metering devices, and delivery tubes. There were two main hopers one for each row. Capacities of the compartment were 300kg of fertilizer.
The metering devices were tractor-PTO driven mechanism specially designed for the machine. Fertilizer displacement (flow) was controllable through the setting of the drive linkages. Delivery tubes attached to the outlets of the metering devices and clamped to the backs of the front times. The furrowing unit was a set of two moldboards, in addition to ridge and furrow reformation, furrowers were to cover fertilizer.
The combined field cultivator was developed as a two row cultivator, tractor mounted machine. It was designed to comprise functional components of a chisel cultivator, furrower and a fertilizer applicator. (The specifications of this machine is shown in table 3Table 3. Specification of combined Field cultivator
|Type||Mounted two raw|
|Lifting||By tractor hydraulic|
|Hoper capacity||400kg of Fertilizer|
|Components||Fertilizer applicator Rigid tine Ridger|
Field Capacity and Efficiency Measurements
Fuel Consumption Measurement
For measuring the fuel consumption of tractor, the fuel tank was filled up to neck of the fuel tank before and after the planting operation in each plot. The amount of refilling measured after the test was the fuel consumption for planting operation in each plot and it was expressed as liter per hour and calculated as follows:
Draw Bar pull (Draft) Measurement
Measurement of Each Implement Draw Bar Pull (Draft) was Done as Follows
The auxiliary tractor (MF) and the tested tractor (MF) were linked together through the dynamometer using steel chain.
The auxiliary tractor was first used to pull the tested tractor alone.
The reading of the dynamometer was recorded
The tested tractor then loaded with the implement operated at constant depth controlled with manual hydraulic lever of the tractor
The reading was repeated and taken the average
Implement draft was calculated as follows
Draw Bar Power Calculation
Field Capacity and Efficiency Measurements
Fuel Consumption Measurement
For measuring the fuel consumption of tractor, the fuel tank was filled up to neck of the fuel tank before and after the planting operation in each plot. The amount of refilling measured after the test was the fuel consumption for planting operation in each plot and it was expressed as liter per hour and calculated as follows
Draft &Power Requirements
Table 4 shows a summary for performance of the individual implements and combined machine in the experimental fields. It is clear that the combined implement recorded less value of unit draft (3.02 KN/m), than Ridger (5.3 KN/m) and Rigid tine (4.5 KN/m), but the Fertilizer applicator recorded the lowest value of unit draft (0.17 KN/m).Table 4. Average field capacity, fuel consumption, draw bar pull, draw bar power requirement and unit draft
|Implement||FC(Fad/hr)||Fuel C (lit/Fed)||Draw bar pull (KN)||D b power (KW)||U d (KN/m)|
Table 4 also shows that the combined machine recorded (12.51 KW) power requirement which is higher than that of ridger, fertilizer applicator and rigid tine together which recorded (5.6 KW+ 0.80 kW+ 9.8 KW= 16.2 kW). The higher power required the combined implement compared to the individual implements may be due to higher draft force exerted by the combined implement. 12 reported that draw bar power was increased as implement draft increased.
Adding the power required for ridger, rigid tine and fertilizer applicator all together and comparing them with power required by the combined implement showed that the power required was less by 3.7 KW, this saved about (23%) of power when using combined implement. This is in line with Paterno, (1994)6.
Statistical analysis shows significant differences between treatments at 5% level, (Table 5). shows the power requirement for combined machine and the other three implements.
From table 4, it is clear that the fuel consumption of the three individual implements when added together and compared with fuel consumption of the combined machine which carry out the three operations in one bath, it appear that the combined machine save about (57%) of fuel, which is above the rate mentioned10.
Statistical analysis shows highly significant differences between treatments at 1% level (Table 5)Table 5. Anova Table for different parameters
Field capacity (fed/h) shown in table 4, it appear that the combined machine operates (2.57 fed/h), while the ridger, fertilizer applicator and rigid tyne operate (2.54, 8.43, 2.5 fed/h) respectively. So the combined machine in one path did the three operations done by the three implements and almost in the same time.Table 6. Total time of different Implements
|Implement||Total time (h/feddan)|
The Following Conclusion may be Drawn from the Present Study
The combined machine compared with individual implements (ridger, fertilizer app., rigid tine) was found reduced the power required by (23%), total time by (57%), fuel consumption by (57%) and operate the same area done by the three implements together in the same period of time.